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This week, many people are traveling to the beaches or countryside during the Easter break.
 - Traffic Police photo -

Avoid road accidents during the Easter break, experts advise

Published Monday, March 29, 2021

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Falling asleep while driving, overloading or not inspecting the car before traveling are some of the more common mistakes drivers make causing car accidents during vacation trips.

This week, many people are traveling to the beaches or countryside during the Easter break, and the Traffic Police officers are providing tips to avoid car crashes.

Never drive tired, they said. Before leaving on a trip, the driver must have slept at least 8 hours. If the driver is tired it is better to pull over and rest before continuing.

Police also recommended that at least two drivers travel in the same car if one driver cannot continue, the other can drive for the rest of the trip.

Another recommendation is to avoid overloading the cart with luggage that can cause instability in the vehicle. That could make the car difficult to steer and takes the car longer to stop. It also puts strain on the car tires.

Officers are recommending not to carry more people than the car allows because of lack of seatbelts. This puts passengers and drivers at risk of an accident.

Another recommendation is to use the appropriate safety device for all children under 12 who travel in the vehicle.

Always check the condition of the car before traveling such as the electrical system, tires, brakes, fuel among others.

Avoid speeding, it is essential, even more so when making long trips. "Commonly, people are anxious to reach their destination, which causes the driver to commit recklessness, such as speeding, to overtake in the prohibited zone," the Traffic Police said.

Always slow down when traveling through wildlife roads to avoid running over an animal. "They are continually crossing the roads," the police said.

One of the most important recommendations is to never drink and drive, nor drive under the influence of any other substance. Alcohol, drugs or medications could reduce brain function and impairs thinking, reasoning, and muscle coordination. Driving a vehicle while impaired is dangerous.

Avoid driving while wearing sandals, because the upper strap of this type of footwear could get caught on the pedals causing the driver to lose control (speeding or stopping suddenly).

In the case of riding motorcycles, ATV Quad Bike, or bicycles, always wear light or reflective clothing, helmet and use the lights at night. And never carry children under 5 years old, the police said.

Despite the ban-on-driving rule enforced by the government to avoid an increase in covid-19 infections, and the fact that February has only 28 days, the Traffic Police reported a record of 35 people killed in road accidents.

February was the month with the most deaths related to car crashes in the last five years, said the police.

According to police statistics, in the same month in 2020 there were 31 deaths, 30 in 2019, 28 in 2018 and 32 in 2017.

Other months with record deaths were December 2020 with 37 cases and January 2021 with 36, all the while within the ban-on-driving period ordered since April 2020.

What other advice would you give drivers to avoid car accidents during vacations?
We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to

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